While in back of Police Car, Man tells Officers he will bet $1,000,00 that his lawyer, Alberta Criminal Lawyer, Fagan, will win his case
OFFENCE: Impaired Driving, Driving over 80, and Driving while suspended
RESULT: All charges were withdrawn
DEFENCE LAWYER: Sean Fagan
Regina v. C.C. – June 2018
Charges: Sections 259(4), 253(1)(a), and 253(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada
Two members of the Calgary Police Service (“CPS”) were on patrol in an inner-city neighbourhood, when they observed C.C. operating a luxury car the wrong way down a one-way street. This was a neighbourhood with small one way streets, and it appeared as though C.C. knowingly and intentionally drove down the wrong way to save time, as oppose to unknowingly and negligently driving the wrong way down a one way. Nevertheless, the driving behaviour was dangerous, illegal, and certainly caught the eye of the two police officers on patrol in the neighbourhood.
The CPS officers pursued C.C. and activated their emergency lights and sirens, but C.C. did not pull over. Instead, C.C. led the officers on a short, relatively low-speed chase through the neighbourhood, arriving at C.C.’s residence where he quickly pulled into the garage. When the officers pulled up, C.C. was standing outside the garage door, having a cigarette.
What followed was a verbal back and forth between the officers and C.C, where C.C. challenged their lawful authority for detaining him. The officers ordered C.C. to get back into his patrol car, and C.C. refused, relying on his understanding of police authorities… which was wrong. The officers arrested C.C. for obstructing a police officer in the lawful execution of his duty, handcuffed him, and placed him in the rear of the patrol car. Once in the back of the patrol car, they questioned C.C. and in doing so, discovered that C.C. had been consuming alcohol recently and observed indicia of impairment. Consequently, the officers demanded that C.C. provide a sample of his breath into the roadside screening device. C.C. challenged the officers on their lawful authority to conduct this aspect of their investigation as well… which he was also wrong about.
Ultimately, C.C. provided a sample of his breath, which registered as a fail on the roadside breathalyzer device. Thereafter, the officers arrested C.C. for impaired driving. Through further questioning by the police, it was discovered that C.C. already had his license suspended for impaired driving.
C.C. was brought back to the police station where he provided further samples of his breath. By the end of the night, he was charged with three distinct criminal offences. A conviction for any one offence would carry with it a period of incarceration for C.C., given his history.
The entirety of the interaction between the police and C.C., including the chase, was captured by the audio-video recording devices in the police patrol car. So, C.C.’s obstructionist dealings with the police were captured, along with him telling the officers that he would bet $1,000,000 that his lawyer, Fagan, would win his case at trial.
Although the in-car video recordings can provide inculpatory evidence of the accused, they can also provide viable Charter defences. Impaired driving offences are very difficult to investigate and prosecute from a police and Crown perspective. There is a multitude of different verbal demands that the officers must state to the detainee in proper wording, multiple time limits that they must abide by, and generally an expertise in Canadian Charter rights, that police officers (and most lawyers) receive limited training in.
Fortunately for C.C., the video DID provide Alberta Criminal Lawyer Sean Fagan with sufficient material to convince the Crown to withdraw all charges before the Court on the day of trial, saving C.C. a period of incarceration, his driver’s license, and his livelihood.